Spreading Hawkeye Spirit
Student greeters welcoming fans of every stripe at kinnick stadium
Few experiences compare to a football game at historic Kinnick Stadium. From the moment you enter the tailgating area, you can feel the energy throughout your entire body. Spectators are covered in black and gold. When the Iowa Hawkeyes run onto the field to "Back in Black," chills come up your spine. Nothing can ruin game day at Iowa.
Except foul language, inappropriate gestures, and belligerent fans.
One student organization is working hard to encourage a welcoming environment for all sport fans. Hawks Nest, the official student section of University of Iowa athletics, is introducing Hawkeye Greeters at the Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan State football games.
Members from various student organizations, including Hawks Nest, are volunteering to walk around the perimeter of the stadium greeting fans from the opposing team, welcoming them to Iowa City, and handing out buttons.
"The idea is to have a group of students go around and find visiting fans tailgating at Iowa football games and make them feel at home here at The University of Iowa," says Kevin Velovitch, a senior from Noblesville, Indiana who's this year's president of Hawks Nest. "The goal is to create a positive atmosphere for all.
" The concept of Hawkeye Greeters came during the Big Ten Sportsmanship and Spirit Conference when Hawks Nest leaders had an opportunity to exchange ideas with other schools. The program ties in with a Big Ten Sportsmanship and Spirit Agreement that grew out of talks by student leaders at the conference. The agreement encourages student fans to be "proud and cheer loud," but also urges respect for visiting teams and fans, game officials, and the private property of residence living near the football stadium.
"Our student leaders are setting a great example of high-spirited support and respect for the game that will make all Hawkeye fans proud," says UI Athletic Director Gary Barta.